Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thanks and Happy New Year

 Thanks very much to the people who followed, read and commented on this blog through 2013. I appreciate your support! And wish you all a splendid year in 2014.

The 'carnation' is hyperbolic tatting. It's tatted in Milford size 40 thread, with tiny beads on the outer row. The beads look as though they're sprinkled over the flower, which just goes to show how convoluted the final row is. There's a loop at the back that the ribbon threads through.

Smooth as Satin? I don't think so.

 The satin stitch leaves in my Schwalm embroidery were really a mess. I'm redoing them. I think there is an improvement. The leaf on the left in the picture has been redone, while the one on the right is the original. But how to achieve that satin smooth look is still eluding me.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Off to School

 Not me, of course, but my grandson. A year ago I made a book bag and pencil case for my granddaughter. Now it's her brother's turn to start school, so he needs a book bag and pencil case too. I hope the fabric is  not too flamboyant for school! It should be distinctive anyway.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Outfit Complete

 I finished this shorts and shirt set for my granddaughter. Now to post it to New Zealand for her birthday, keeping fingers crossed that it will fit!

Thursday, December 26, 2013


I was asked to make earrings to match this bracelet.  Adding seed beads to the chains gives them a good weight as well as sparkle. The rainbow earrings are hyperbolic tatting. There's a link to instructions for hyperbolic tatting on the sidebar. I've added beads to the outer row, but kept them as tiny as possible, otherwise they can weigh down the hyperbolic tatting and spoil the spiralling effect.

Sally's Snowflake

 Yesterday I tatted Sally Kerson's snowflake and hung it on my little tree.  I've been meaning to tat this snowflake ever since Sally posted it on the 11th December. I made a mistake, tatting the second round in the wrong direction, but I didn't realise that until I reached the end of the round, so I left it. I like the look the lock chains make. Thanks for the pattern Sally.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

 Wishing a very merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate Christmas. Peace, harmony and plenty of tatting time!

Sewing a Curved Hem

I'm sewing an outfit for my granddaughter. The shirt has a curved hem. It can be quite difficult to sew a curved hem neatly, so I thought I'd try out a tip I read recently, which is basically to make a facing for the hem. I cut a strip of fabric to match the hem and sewed it on, right sides together ( unlike the front facing, which I managed to sew on with the wrong side facing and had to redo.)
 I snipped the seam allowance before turning it in and pressing.
Then machine sewed the hem. I'd rather machine sew than hand sew because I think it's stronger, less likely to need mending or redoing, which no one wants to have to do!

The top is done, and now I'm off to make the matching shorts.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A pair

At last. Gloves, like socks and earrings, must be made in twos!

Friday, December 20, 2013


 The final two crosses for my order were tatted in DMC perle cotton no. 8. It looks the same size as the 40 thread, but it must be a bit thicker because the crosses are slightly bigger.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Still Crossing

 I thought I'd do some sewing for variation, but it didn't go well. I kept dithering. So I went back to tatting crosses. These are number 8 and 9, so I only have two more to do. I did make a mistake on the purply one. It was a while before I realised, too far along to untat. So I cut off the wrong bit and then used a tip I read about on In Tatters - rather than having 4 threads to hide at once, I wound the knot on the shuttles onto one shuttle, so it looked as though the shuttles were wound CTM. I hid the two old threads and then didn't have to hide the two new threads until I reached the knot on the shuttle. Clever!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Two More

Two more Jane's Bookmark Crosses. These are in Coats thread, size 40. I'm not sure I'll have enough threads to make each one a different colour, but I have a few more Olympus threads to use.

Monday, December 16, 2013


This is Grace Tan's 'Jane's Bookmark Cross', Grace's adaptation of my bookmark pattern. These are all tatted in Olympus thread, size 40. I have an order for 11 crosses. In theory I could tat four of them a day. In practice there are too many other things that need doing. I haven't managed more than two in a day. Still, I'm almost half way, so I am making progress.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

More Fiddling

 I like the top sample, but realised I had strayed far from the original picture. The chains are too prominent. Back to the picture and my original samples. I wanted to do a good length to get the rhythm of it, get my head around it, basically. Both of them will make good bracelets, I think. I must write down what I did so that I can do it again!

Saturday, December 14, 2013


 One thing I like about doing orders is the interplay of ideas with the person who is ordering. The colour choice and the idea of putting Mrs. Odum's daisy on a ribbon come from a young neighbour. Good thinking.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


When I saw this bracelet in the jewellery supplement to the South African magazine I buy every month, I thought it would be fun to tat a version. On the first attempt, I tatted the grey rings and chains and then interwove  black mock rings and chains. It's messy and doesn't work. Second time around, I kept the grey ring open before tatting the black ring, but tied myself up in knots and tangles. Third time, I tatted and closed a grey ring and then tatted a black Self Closing Mock Ring and threaded that through the grey ring before closing, then tatted a grey chain and another grey ring. I think it could work.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Another Top

 When I find a pattern that I like, I tend to use it again and again. I've made this top in several solid colours, but decided I needed one in a print to go with plain skirts. I'm not sure what animal this print is intended to represent - a gennet?  While I was sewing it, I thought that what would really go well with it would be a black pencil skirt. I dug out a piece of black fabric that was lurking in my stash and made one.

Monday, December 9, 2013


  The pattern for these sweet stars comes from Frivole. I like the way that using a SCMR for the thrown off ring makes the star pointy. I like that it's a shuttle-and-ball pattern. I like that it's a quick tat so that I can make several in an afternoon. I like that it can be used to empty spools of thread that have not much left on them. Thanks Frivole!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Button Doodles

 When I was looking for buttons with four holes, I came across these cross shaped buttons. I can't really imagine sewing them onto clothes, but I thought they might be fun for combining with tatting. I didn't use any patterns for these doodles, but Jane Eborall's techniques page was useful for long beaded picots, adding beads to the top of a button etc.

Friday, December 6, 2013

One Done

 Phew, a lot of hours go into tatting a glove, even a fingerless one. I just hope this is not too small for the order or I will be tatting mignonette stitch for a great many more hours.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Starry Button

 I knew I wanted to make just one starry button and not a whole bracelet, so when my oddly shaped button didn't work, I could change the pattern instead of changing the button. I joined three rings to each hole instead of two, which worked fine. The pattern is Jane Eborall's.

Christmas Tree on button

 I thought it was about time I had a go at combining tatting and buttons. I actually struggled to find buttons with four holes in them. The manager of one shop told me she hates sewing 4-holers onto clothes, so she doesn't order them! After all that effort, I realised that the Christmas tree  doesn't require a four hole button anyway, though one can be used. The  pattern is, of course, Jane Eborall's and can be found here. The weight of the button helps the tree hang straight, but the pattern does have a version without a button. I made a wrong join which I only noticed when I was some way along and decided to ignore. I love the asymmetrical clovers, very clever.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


I'm working on a pair of fingerless gloves for an order. So many people mention weddings when they see the white ones that I think it's a good idea to do them in another colour. Perhaps I'll do the next pair in purple!


I bought this fabric on impulse in August. It's taken me a while to decide what to make with it. Eventually I decided on a blouse and short skirt so that I can mix and match. The blouse is a Butterick pattern. The skirt is a 'cut according to your cloth' A-line, knee length.

Monday, December 2, 2013

You Never Can Tell

 As the song says, 'It goes to show, you never can tell'. There was such enthusiasm over my coathangers on Wednesday that I thought they were bound to sell at the Christmas market on Saturday. Not so; I didn't sell a single one! I did, on the other hand, sell all the Christmas baubles. Overall I was happy with the day, I sold enough to make it worth doing and had several conversations about tatting. This is not a very good photo, I forgot to take one until the day was almost over. It does show that it was a very small fair. The hall normally holds cattle auctions, there was a ring behind me where the animals stand as the auctioneer does his thing. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Tammy on In Tatters pointed out that there was a mistake in the first row of the bauble pattern, a couple of missing -2s. I've corrected the pattern, thanks Tammy. If anyone has already downloaded it, the first part of the first  row should read
 1st round: R 2-2-2-2 Cl, RW;* Ch 2-2, R 2+(previous R)2-2-2, Cl,RW